Financial Aid for Illegal Aliens was a Bad Idea at the Start – and Now It’s Even More Costly
Jennifer G. Hickey
In April, Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision that state law prohibited granting lower in-state tuition to illegal immigrant students enrolled under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program.The victory of the rule of law, however, was met with righteous indignation and politicized outrage by radicalized activists who painted the ruling as an affront to human rights.Belen Sisa, a student and advocacy director of Undocumented Students for Education Equity, sought the head of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovichs, who argued the case in court.“It’s pretty ridiculous that we continue to have to defend our human right to education,” Sisa fumed, adding it would their “personal mission that Brnovich is never the Attorney General of the state of Arizona ever again.”Others could not see the justices’ wisdom because they were blinded by their own self-interest.“With these price increases it makes higher education completely unaffordable for young immigrants who want to go to school,” Karina Ruiz, president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition Ruiz, told NPR.While Arizona’s ship was righted, since 2001 18 states (and the District of Columbia) have passed legislation providing special benefits, such as in-state tuition rates, to illegal alien students.Democrats in the New Jersey legislature – with the exception of State Assemblyman Joe Danielson who broke ranks to vote against it – pushed the envelope even further last month when they approved spending millions on additional financial assistance for illegal aliens.Gov. Phil Murphy, who bear-hugged the amnesty agenda as a candidate, is expected sign the bill, but when he does it will be even more costly.The Legislature determined it would cost $4.5 million to dole out more than $7,000 to each of the 600 illegal aliens who met eligibility requirements. Unfortunately for taxpayers, the legislative analysis was based on 2014 figures and the number of illegals eligible today has increased and so has the price tag — to the tune of a half a million dollars.Supporters lay out the false case that the amount is insignificant considering more than $425 million is annually allotted for student financial aid.The cost actually is much higher, particularly to the low-income students who are legal residents. Giving a tax break to illegal aliens not only serves as an incentive for more to come to New Jersey, it gives a bad break to legal residents by pushing up tuition rates or denying needed assistance to legal residents who are looking for their shot at a better future.
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